Wavemaker Malaysia has named Michael Tan (pictured) managing director, replacing Michelle Achuthan who left earlier this year. Prior to his new role, Tan was the CEO at Shopper360’s subsidiaries Pos Ad Media and ShopperPlus Malaysia, a position he held for close to one year.
During his time at Pos Ad and ShopperPlus, Tan oversaw the strategic planning and overall management of both units and was also involved in business development, client and retailer partnerships as well as talent management. Before joining Shopper360, Tan was country head and regional director of business for VHQ Media in Singapore. He has also held senior level director roles for Project: Worldwide and Saatchi & Saatchi X in Guangzhou, China, and for Ogilvy Asia Pacific in Hong Kong.
He has more than 20 years of experiences in both the client and agency side. Among the list of brands Tan has worked with include P&G, Colgate Palmolive, Fonterra Brands, Mondelez, BAT, Diageo Brands, Coca Cola, Asia Pacific Breweries, Lenovo, Tan Chong International and retailers such as Parkson, Sogo, Walmart, Tesco and Carrefour.
In a statement to A+M, Tan said as managing director, he aims to continue making a difference by “relentlessly” pushing boundaries to deliver creative and transformative solutions, as well as ensuring it is adding value to clients’ businesses. He added that there is a greater need for accountability in strategy and marketing efforts. As such, agencies need to be mindful of that when working with clients.
“Also in today’s day and age, it is imperative to integrate ideas, content and technology into our solutions to help solve clients’ business challenges,” he told A+M.
To cut through the clutter, Tan added that companies will need to rethink the role of humans within brand activations and what engagement entails. As such, he believes that integrating ideas, content and technology into brand activations will resonate well with consumers.
When asked how he will leverage his experiences on both the client and agency side for his new role, Tan said he aims to enforce clarity and accuracy, as well as add an extra level of creativity when working with clients.
“Having returned to my home country recently, I hope to impart my experiences gained from working with diverse clients from the region to our clients within the Malaysian market,” he added.
Wavemaker CEO, Southeast Asia, Rose Huskey, said Tan has a “solid track record” in business building, brand building, strategic integrated marketing communications planning, and innovative thinking.
Meanwhile Shopper360’s executive chairman and group managing director, Chew Sue Ann, told A+M in a statement that Tan was “instrumental” in setting up its Singapore office and hiring its first team to manage its media services in the country. He was also responsible for boosting its shopper insights offering to enable media clients to see the difference in its creative and communications for their brands in store, Chew said.
As search for for Tan’s replacement for Pos Ad is currently underway and group CEO Matthew Ho will oversee the business unit in the interim. “It is not easy to look for a candidate who has strong shopper marketing capabilities coupled with a strong media sales background,” Chew said.